Written primarily for scholars and students, Ancient Epic is nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable and informative read for those who know little about the old human stories that undergird our Western literature and culture. The introduction provided a beautiful overview of how these six epics related to each other and how they can have high meaning for us today. King has a way of describing the people and events that makes them identifiable and memorable. I was surprised to find myself reading the book as I read a mystery--turning pages to find out what happened next. A good read!
"[King] also draws connections between the works so the reader can see the epics in the context of their genre and historical period." (CHOICE, February 2010)
“Provides a comprehensive idea [of] ancient epic, showing how this literary genre is not only an invaluable cultural asset in itself, but the bearer of messages and values far remote or dead … .The brilliant and dense general introduction identifies the preliminary concepts necessary to address the overall theme of the book … .Truly admirable consistency [and] effort [for] a topic so broad and multifaceted. The fact that the text is addressed to an audience of non-specialists … does not reduce … the scope and importance: on the contrary. Ancient Epic is the result of a well-calibrated balance between methodological rigor [and] accuracy of content … .This volume, which deserves to be considered among the best introductions to ancient epic appeared in recent years, has all the characteristics to … fascinate a very wide number of readers (not necessarily native English speakers) who want to know epic poetry.” (Bryn Mawr Classical Review, February 2010)
"If you already enjoy the Classical epics, you should read this to challenge your assumptions. If you aren't familiar with Classical epic, you should read this to learn about the topic.Ancient Epic straddles beautifully the need to provide value for people who have already read the epics and the needs of a reader unacquainted with the genre." (N.S. Gill, About.com)